Hillwood released their traffic mitigation plan, as well as the peer review of their traffic study. In this blog, a member from SaveHudsonNH has taken the time to summarize Hillwood's traffic study, SaveHudsonNH's consultants peer review, and the planning board meeting on November 18, 2020. To view all the studies please click the links at the end of this post.
Hillwood Traffic Presentation
Bldg A is first mile facility for distribution to other facilities (not last mile)
Bldg B is a last mile facility for large items like appliances. Low frequency.
Bldg C to be another non sort facility (but no tenant identified)
Traffic volume comparisons:
Stated it’s not the largest project in NH
Pheasant lane mall is 37k vehicles a day
Sam's Club generates >3000 a day
Sagamore park more trips ~4000 plan was up to 8k
Traffic volume basis for analysis:
2057 vehicles in and out a day (includes employees)
Traffic is spread out over the day and outside of traffic peak hrs
240 Tractor Trailer and 40 Box Trucks in plan vs estimated 150-200 TT and BT/day
Box truck activity offset from peak traffic
No (last mile) vans on the site
Unclear if potential Bldg C volume was included in the study
Roadway proposed change summary
2 Left turn lanes onto 3A from Green Meadow Drive (Mercury Systems)
Widen 3A to 3 lanes between Green Meadow Drive and Walmart Blvd (existing RT lane at Walmart converted to shared right turn/thru lane
3 lanes between Walmart and Sagamore (one becomes a dedicated left turn onto sagamore)
3rd left turn lanes onto the sagamore bridge
Wason intersection 2 right turn lanes (offered additional expansion of intersection if town wants to buy land from property owners)
Widen Sagamore to Walmart to accommodate 3 thru lanes at Walmart intersection
Third thru lane from Walmart to Green Meadow (Mercury) becomes a right turn only lane into Green Meadow
Restripe 3A from Green meadow to Dracut to make 2 left turn lanes onto Dracut
Traffic signals will all be converted to adaptive signal control and incorporated into town signal system
Stated effect of roadway changes
Goal is to improve or maintain intersection wait times
Hillwood will fix existing traffic issues and accommodate added traffic by Amazon
Overall traffic will be improved and congestion will be reduced
Mercury intersection will increase in time
All other intersection wait times will go down
Misc Hillwood Statements during the planning board meeting:
Offered to the board to just build two buildings and see how it goes before the building the third bldg
Trucks won’t use local gas stations because they are slow; need high speed pumps (Irving is a truck stop)
TTs won’t use surface roads to come here
Driveway will be a private drive maintained by them
Held their feet to the fire; a lot of back and forth; final plan/analysis includes many requested changes
Validated trip generation
Used conservative numbers
Agreed with study
VHB Peer Reviewer
Also worked with Hillwood and comments were addressed
Trip generation model is relatively new since the distribution centers are new
Got info from the tenant and used the higher of the two estimates
Agrees with DOT. Agrees with study.
Lane expansions are good but it just moves the congestion problem beyond the proposed intersections (where they have to merge)
Irving is a truck stop they will use it. Amazon rep responded they provide facilities for drivers to rest. Hillwood previously said they wouldn’t.
SaveHudsonNH Independent Peer Review (Transportation Engineering Planning and Policy LLC) Comments
The proposed road modifications:
Will create a more expansive travel-way:
Three through lanes per direction on select segments
Eight lanes total on the south leg of the Walmart Boulevard intersection
Nine lanes total on the north leg of the Walmart Boulevard intersection
Eight lanes total between on the south leg of the Sagamore Bridge Road intersection
Up to nine lanes on the south leg of the Flagstone Drive/Wason Road intersection
A triple left-turn lane on the northbound approach to the Sagamore Bridge Road intersection
Will result in more complex driving experiences (Many more lanes and signage)
Will not have overall benefit for bicycles or pedestrians
Increasing the number of lanes at signalized intersections may reduce efficiency by undesirably:
Increasing lost time due to signal-phase changes
Increasing the number of signal phases
Increasing pedestrian crossing times
Reducing lane utilization, particularly for triple left-turn lanes
SaveHudsonNH Member Opinions
Overall character of South Hudson will be impacted (massive roadway, increased signage, lighting, accidents, road rage, etc)
·Significant traffic volume increase = more complex driving experiences = roadways won’t be used as efficiently as predicted.
Estimates do not account for ecommerce growth; the proposed facilities have the capacity for 10x (or more) than currently stated.
Building C could potentially be installed as a last mile facility, significantly increasing truck traffic.
A rosy picture is being painted to get approval. Once in place, operating and generating town revenue, changes can be incrementally introduced that may not get the same level of scrutiny as if it was part of the original plan.
There will be unassessed consequences of the traffic expansion. I.e. increased traffic volume on surrounding roadways both in Hudson and in surrounding towns.
The proposed roadway improvements just move the bottle necks further away from the key intersections discussed.